Santa Maria acknowledges the role of digital technologies as a tool to support learning. As a result of this the College is embarking on an exciting transition of their e-learning program from 2016. We are continuing to respond to the learning and teaching needs of our community by introducing a laptop program for students in Years 7-10 and a bring your own device (BYOD) program for Years 11 and 12.
The use of these devices will help develop our students into skilled users of digital technologies not only for their time at Santa Maria but also as citizens of a 21st century world. An important part of this program will be the use of the Google Apps for Education (GAFE). This learning platform will allow students greater autonomy in their learning as well as improved communication with teachers. In addition to this, such learning tools allow more effective engagement with the global community which can so richly enhance and extend student learning, so students can access information, expertise and insights in an engaging and discerning way.
Teaching staff using GAFE will also be better able to respond to the unique learning needs of students. This collaborative and flexible learning environment will transform the way students create, collaborate and curate their knowledge and their learning. As part of our commitment to supporting students with their e-learning, the College offers the services of an IT help desk. Teaching and support staff undertake ongoing training and upskilling in their use of ICT. A number of our teaching staff are also working towards achieving Google Education Certification.
The work that the College undertakes in the use of e-learning for students is done in close collaboration with our Well-Being team. Student access to online resources and communication technologies are determined and provided on the basis of carefully developed policies and user agreements to ensure that the teaching and learning experience is one that is safe, meaningful and based on integrity and responsible and respectful relationships.